Over the last decade of its existence, ISB has evolved into a brand in itself – a sense of honor, prestige and accomplishment for everyone who has graduated from the Indian School of Business! Constantly ranked as one of the top B-schools in India and also as 20th in the Global Top MBA Rankings 2012, Financial times, London. ISB has a lot to offer to future leaders in terms of research based innovative curriculum, international outreach, global best practices and insight into emerging markets for career growth. So if you are an aspirant trying to put your best foot forward in your ISB application, this blog will give you a headstart.
ISB has been constantly ranked as one of the top B-schools in India and also as 20th in the Global Top MBA Rankings 2012, Financial times, London.
ISB has constantly maintained these esteemed rankings for five years consecutively. To add more feathers to its cap, ISB has also been revered with South-Asia’s first AACSB accredited school! Undoubtedly, MBA aspirants are not leaving any stone unturned to add ‘ISB’ into their CVs. However, in this helter-skelter, several myths have cropped up over the last few years. Most of these grapevines are related to the ISB application process. We are looking at the top 5 myths!
Myth 1: You are bound to get rejected with a sub-700 score!
GMAT is important. Very important! This is because to select among thousands of applicants, this concrete 3 digit number is of great help to B-schools world over. GMAT provides a good indication of a student’s logical application in a business context that will make him an effective future leader. But do not forget that GMAT is just a part of the selection process and not the selection process itself.
Any reputed B-School, including ISB looks for a complete package to fit in their MBA program and not just one aspect in isolation. There is a reason why an ISB application with a lower GMAT score are accepted. Else they could have just put up on the website “Applicants with only a GMAT score higher than 700 need apply”. According to the official ISB statistics around 25% of the entering class had a sub-700 score. Infact over the last few years we have had several of our own students get through with a sub-700 score getting!
According to the official ISB statistics around 25% of the entering class had a sub-700 score.
This myth is perhaps propagated by those who got rejected because the other factors such as weak essays, poor interview are intangibles that no one wants to admit. I have not heard an applicant say “I got dinged because my post-MBA goals were perhaps a bit fuzzy”. While GMAT gives a more solid reason – “I got dinged because I had a 690” makes the excuse a bit more palatable. Read on for a detailed Analysis on the ideal GMAT score range for ISB.
Myth 2: You shouldn’t apply with more than 10 years of work-experience!
Till date, ISB has created over 4000 global leaders who are spread over 25 countries! Though the average experience in the class is still a “young” with 3-6 years experience being the median on the curve, more and more mid-career professionals are seeking an ISB PGP to catapult their careers to the next level.
ISB PGP admissions committee understands the unique background such senior people bring in, and works hard with the industry to ensure that they are rewarded with a position that is commensurate with their talents and experience. While the usual career progression is into a managerial position (“LEAD”), the students with more than 8-10 years of experience are provided with opportunities to interview for senior management roles such as Country Head (“LEAP”).
Students with more than 8-10 years of experience are provided with opportunities to interview for senior management roles such as Country Head.
However, a caveat over here is that ISB (or any Bschool in the world) cannot guarantee placements. This is a known fact that there are fewer positions at such a level and that an MBA is not a “placement agency”. It is important that applicants with rich experience bring with them their own network, as well as understanding of their domain. ISB placement committee can ensure that the required groundwork is done to help facilitate the process.
Myth 3: The details in the ISB application form are not that important!
The online ISB application form that contains details regarding the applicant’s profile such as educational details, work-experience details, essays, video, and recommendations. Along with this there are also some details, which many applicants consider “minor”, such as extra-curricular, awards, languages known etc. However the admissions committee gets to review a file which contains these very details before it even gets to see your essays. Thus, these details on the ISB application form become the initial point of contact between you and ISB.
First impression may not be the last one, but first impression does take you to the next level, that is the interview! Thus, every aspirant should ensure that he/she reserves enough time to fill out all the details in the ISB application form completely so that it comes across convincing, interesting and unique.
The admissions committee gets to review a file which contains these very details before it even gets to see your essays.
It is very easy to create a login to see what are the details required. Do not leave out filling the form to the last date of the ISB application, when you will be hurried and might end up making mistakes.
Myth 4: Showing NGO/not-for-profit work is a must on your ISB application!
ISB is in search for people who bring varied perspective into the classroom discussions. That is why you will come across many interesting yet so-called “unconventional” profiles at ISB of people who have been involved in the society around us through various NGOs. However, it is a myth that ISB wants everyone who applies to have contributed to a social cause.
Though, it is true that such an association does impact your ISB application in a positive way, it should only be added if the applicant has genuinely done so. Association with an NGO just for the sake of embellishing your ISB application will actually reduce your chances of an admission!
Association with an NGO just for the sake of embellishing your ISB application will actually reduce your chances of an admission!
Integrity is a quality that is highly regarded in B-schools these days. Culturally Indians tend to use their times constructively in many other different ways – not just in social causes. So, candidates should look at creative ways of revealing their managerial or leadership qualities such as playing a sport, or being a part of rock-band!
Myth 5: The essays are the crucial aspects, the interviews can be handled!
Applicants place a lot of emphasis on the ISB application essays – a correct thing to do because it is through essays that B-Schools will actually get to know about who you are as a person, and what you bring to the table. However, it is also equally important that you focus on the interview process, through which the admissions committee tries to see if the person behind the essays is interesting in real-life.
Those 20-40 minutes are crucial because it is an opportunity for you to bring out real-life examples to convey your strengths and managerial traits. There is more to you than an application form and the ISB interview panel wants to see that. Don’t deny them the opportunity by trying to play safe and telling them what you think they want to hear. Or still worse talking something tangential to what you have mentioned in your ISB application essays.
The panel wants to know you better, and the only person who can help them is you.
Here is what we suggest to applicants facing an MBA interview – treat it like a conversation, not a quiz. The panel wants to know you better, and the only person who can help them is you. Just ensure you are able to articulate the main questions well – why you want to do an MBA, why specifically ISB, why is now the right time in your career, and why should they select you. The rest of the questions should be about what *you* have done in *your* life – something you should definitely not worry about!
I hope this article was useful in busting a few myths about the ISB apllication process for you. Did you believe in any of them before you started reading? Is there any other myth you would like us to answer? Do let us know.
For those planning to apply to ISB this year , please write to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us @ 9008177800.
ISB Hyderabad / Mohali | Indian School of Business | Deadlines, Fees, Essays
ISB Hyderabad is a favourite destination for Indian aspirants. The city of Hyderabad is one of the biggest IT hubs in India. This means there would be ample post MBA placement opportunities to explore in and around Hyderabad. Learn more about ISB placements.
The Post Graduate Program (PGP) in Management is a one-year management program. Though ISB Hyderabad is just over a decade old, it has shown rapid growth and is at par with international B-schools. It has been ranked 27th in The Financial Times global MBA ranking 2017.
The Post Graduate Program in Management (PGP) is a one-year management program that is intense though of a shorter duration compared to many US 2 year courses. It serves well for professionals who wish to have an MBA and the perks associated with it, without having to take a two-year long break from work. The program has a practical orientation and is not just classroom-based. The curriculum undergoes upgrading every year to maintain high standards. The campus is well-equipped with excellent facilities.
The cost of living in India is not an additional burden as in case of other international MBA program where you have to set aside additional finances for the rent and day-to-day expense. The programs provide international exposure and students have been placed across diverse steams and have been recruited by top companies including McKinsey & Company.
The ISB Mohali campus became functional in 2012. The intake for ISB Hyderabad is 561 while for Mohali it is 253 taking the total enrolment to 813. The average GMAT score for the class of 2016 is 700 and the average work experience is 4.7 years. The programs run in parallel on both the campuses. Students applying can mention their campus preference on the application. However students of either of the two campuses can opt for electives and choose to exchange campus during their elective term.
ISB Hyderabad campus is spread across 260 acres. It begins with the pre-term and orientation courses which serve the purpose of helping students get acclimatised to the student life, culture, campus and city. This is followed by eight terms, each of six-week duration. The first four terms focus on the core subjects while the remaining terms cover the electives.
There’s an International Student Exchange Programme which enables students to get a taste of international culture. ISB in partnership with 42 schools spread across the globe facilitates this international exchange program in which students from international programs are able to spend time on ISB campus and ISB students are able to go to these international partner schools. This cross-cultural interaction is mutually beneficial as it provides networking opportunities and provides a varied perspective about various business situations; it also helps develop a better understanding about the economy and business scenario in other geographical locations.
The Outbound Exchange Program allows ISB students to spend two terms in any one of the international business schools. Though the students have to manage their travel and living expenses on their own, some perceive this as a great opportunity to spend time in a diverse cultural environment with opportunities to collaborate and explore career options. The Inbound Exchange program is meant for international candidates who wish to spend two terms at ISB to get an insight of the Indian economy. This international interaction helps students broaden their perspective by learning from their peers’ experiences.
ISB Hyderabad Indian School of Business PGP
ISB MBA course structure
At the start, students have to undergo a three-day Leadership Development Program (LEAD) which focuses on an assessment of their strengths and identifying areas needing improvement.
The five core courses which are covered during the first four terms include Finance, Strategy, Marketing, Operations and IT Management. During the last four terms, students can opt for electives of their choice. Students have over eighty electives to choose from.
The Independent Study Programme (ISP) allows students to study topics that are not covered in the curriculum and are of interest to them under a faculty member.
Inter Campus Exchange: During terms three and four, students from ISB Hyderabad and ISB Mohali are able to interchange campuses and benefit in terms of networking or local opportunities.
ISB MBA class profile
|No. of full-time MBA students enrolled||813|
|Average age of the students||27|
|Average work experience||56 months|
|Average domestic salary of MBA grads||INR18,15,964|
ISB MBA application process
The online application needs to be completed with an application fee which varies depending on how early you submit your application. The fee is INR 5000 for early submission, INR 15,000 for a regular application deadline while it goes higher to INR 20,000 for late submission.
The GMAT score, TOEFL / IELTS / PTE score (only if undergrad medium was other than English), two recommendations and completed MBA essays need to be submitted. Interviews are held at Delhi, Kolkata and Hyderabad. For international candidate, interviews are conducted over the phone.
Read this article to understand how the ISB admission process works.
ISB Essays for PGP
Learn how to write ISB essays to impress the Admisssons and secure a seat at ISB Hyderabad or Mohali campus. You’ll also find inspiring stories of folks who’ve cracked the ISB code.
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Free profile evaluation for ISB
MBA Crystal Ball has helped a large number of applicants from diverse backgrounds crack the ISB admissions process, some with scholarships as well.
Read some of the stories here: Indian School of Business (ISB) – MBA Application Success Stories
Do you have questions about the ISB admissions process or tips to increase your odds of getting in? We can help you in your journey.
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